Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo, a Republican presidential hopeful, is the House's most conspicuous advocate of border enforcement. He is also a stalwart defender of the Warfare/Homeland Security State.
Last September, Tancredo voted in favor of both the Military Commissions Act – which destroyed the habeas corpus guarantee – and a “reform” of the Insurrection Act that gives the president the power to use the National Guard as his personal army. Interestingly, Tancredo is also a devoted supporter of Iran's so-called Iranian People's Mujahadeen (MEK), a bizarre terrorist cult whose official ideology is a fusion of Marxism and Sufism. The Warmakers in and around the Bush Regime have embraced the MEK as an ally in the low-intensity war underway between Washington and Tehran.
It seems to me that people genuinely concerned about border security would be wary of cultivating foreign wars, which inevitably generate streams of refugees and an appetite for retaliation – both of which are bad for the cause of secure borders. Thus it appears to me, at least, that Rep. Tancredo's positions are in conflict – unless his focus is on empowering Washington at all hazards, in which case his apparently contradictory positions would make some sense.
I've made this point before, but it bears repeating: The movement-wide conservative obsession with immigration reflects a successful effort to seduce “limited government” activists into supporting the creation of a garrison state -- and Tom Tancredo embodies that order of priorities perfectly.
Former Congressman Bob Barr recently made the same point in a Washington Times op-ed column referring to efforts by Tancredo and other House Republicans to pass legislation “prohibiting financial institutions from extending mortgages to anyone who cannot establish their bona fides by producing a valid Social Security number.”
Does anybody else remember – perhaps through a glaze of sepia-tinted nostalgia – that bygone era when conservative Republicans opposed the use of Social Security numbers as a de facto national identification number? Barr does, and he criticized Republican congressmen for trying to compel “private financial institutions to do the heavy lifting of combating illegal immigration because government has failed in its responsibility to properly police and monitor our borders.”
“Where, for example, will the mandates they seek – forcing businesses to determine if a person is in this country lawfully before extending credit or selling a product for which that person is otherwise eligible – be next applied?” continues Barr. “Will a bill be introduced that prohibits automobile dealers from selling a motor vehicle to anyone who cannot produce a valid Social Security card? Will landlords be forced to rent their property only to those who possess a Social Security card? Would it not make just as much sense for these advocates to require presentation of a Social Security card prior to bedding down for the night at a local Marriott?”
What Barr is describing through illustration here is a foundational principle in every surveillance society: The government must compel its subjects to act as the eyes and ears of the State. Embraced with a passion by most of the Establishment-led Right after 9-11, that principle is attracting new converts now thanks to concerns over border security.
Likewise, many of those limited government conservatives who kept their wits about them when 9-11 inspired calls for creation of an even larger “national security” leviathan have surrendered now that the police state pretext du jour is the immigration crisis.
The Denver Post points out that the new “immigration control” campaign has led to “the biggest border prison boom in decades [and created] the federal government's larges enforcement arm” -- the latter being the expanded Border Patrol, which is now an appendage of the Department of Homeland Security.
Dozens of new federal prosecutors are being hired to prosecute immigration cases. Thousands of armed federal enforcement agents are being hired and trained. Huge sums of taxpayer money are being sluiced into the coffers of the Corrections Corporation of America, Geo Group Inc., and other penal system profiteers.
All of these assets and personnel, it should be remembered, are fungible. The newly hired federal prosecutors targeting Mexican agricultural workers today could very easily be tasked tomorrow to prosecute American citizens for violating some arcane provision of the tax code or some exotic permutation of the Patriot Act. Border Patrol Agents could be seconded to other federal agencies – say, the Marshals Service in the event that muscle is needed to back up the Selective Service when the draft is reinstated. Prison spaces now filled by immigrant families could come in quite handy if the Regime decides it needs to deal roughly with dissidents or draft resisters.
For supporters of the new border initiatives, “it's a long-overdue effort to establish the rule of law,” notes the Post; “for foes, it's a slow militarization built on prison shackles and razor wire.”
Which view is accurate? That depends on whether we assume that it's possible to cast out Beelzebub by the power of Beelzebub, since the same regime that has brought us torture, military tribunals, executive rule through “signing statements,” illegal domestic surveillance, and other garrison state innovations is building the new “border security” regime.
Not your Daddy's idea of Border Security: U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311 trains at Camp Lejune, N.C.
It is irrational to believe that the same Leviathan state that waging war on liberty both at home and abroad can be trusted to use these expanded powers only for the purpose of securing our borders. We should view the DHS as America's embryonic Cheka, an assumption fully warranted by both its structure and widespread corruption. It's worth recalling, once again, that the Soviet Cheka had a large, well-armed, and very competent Border Guards Directorate – and the Soviet Union had no problem with illegal immigration.
Too many on the Right – I'm irresistibly tempted to call them Chekist Conservatives – are abetting our descent into unalloyed despotism in the name of border security. That cohort includes, alas, some people for whom I've had great respect and affection.
Shortly before I underwent an involuntary career change last October, one of my associates – a JBS official who is involved in defining that organization's agenda – explained to me in an e-mail why fighting the creation of an American Reich simply wasn't a priority for the Society:
“If a police state happens in America, and we are unable to stop it, which version do you think will be worse: 100 million Americans armed to the teeth within a walled-in country fighting against a corrupt regime? Or a tri-national police state [through the so-called North American Union] that has folded in the Mexican government and drug cartels ... into the Department of Homeland Security, with more terrorists flowing in across Latin American borders from elsewhere? Which one would you prefer taking your chances with? We don’t want either, but I go back to what I said to you elsewhere. We have a chance at winning the immigration issue and in the process drawing a lot of people to our ranks (even if the Repubs are cynically exploiting it to their own advantage), which will allow us to have more influence to stop the police state from fully blossoming.”
Why a "walled-in" police state would permit us to keep our firearms to fight the "corrupt regime" it was created to protect, my friend didn't say. Nor did he explain how it would be possible to "win" on "the immigration issue" -- as "victory" is currently defined -- without actively abetting the growth of the very police state that would suffocate what remains of our liberty. If we lose on the police state "issue," we get all of the horrors my friend describes -- and others too gruesome to describe.
It must be said: The statement quoted above (which wasn't shared with the Society's membership at large) is the authentic voice of collaboration. Every collaborator insists that he is working within the system to bring it down, and disavows the actions of more radical elements who actually take the fight to the enemy.
Most collaborators have surrendered after the State has begun to exercise its consolidated powers; in this case we see preemptive capitulation as a cynical marketing strategy. What is really painful about this particular example is that we still have a chance (an infinitesimal one, to be sure) to abort the creation of an American Reich before it comes to term, and the only alternative to outright servitude would be a gallant but doomed recourse to arms.
Chekist conservatives are more interested in building up the State than in preserving constitutional freedom. And the sad truth is that you can't expect leadership for freedom from collaborators.
Please be sure to visit The Right Source -- a collaborator-free zone for freedom-centered news, commentary, Kevin Shannon's radio program, and -- brand new! -- our Action Agenda for citizen activism.
My question for your JBS friend is, why can't we fight the NAU and fight the Police State at the same time?
In principle I don't have a problem with increased border control. But a non-interventionist foreign policy, ending the War on Drugs (thus removing a source of government corruption south of the border), ending the welfare state, and greater economic freedom will be more effective in keeping America secure while enjoying the benefits of productive immigrants.
It is irrational to believe that the same Leviathan state that waging war on liberty both at home and abroad can be trusted to use these expanded powers only for the purpose of securing our borders.
Border-control and forming a "police state" are not mutually inclusive as you seem to imply. IOW, border-control can be accomplished without having a police state, but a police state will have a controlled border. Yes, and the point is...what? In a police state, there's almost zero crime (other than State thugs themselves) as well, but that doesn't mean the police can't adequately fight crime in a free society.
Let’s be frank, Will, instead of beatin’ ‘round the bush. America is a hopeless farrago and cannot function as an independent society under the Constitution as it was originally written. Ergo, it’s irrational to believe that that same Leviathan state you mention can be trusted with anything since that same Leviathan is composed of people within this farrago of peoples who obviously no longer operate from the same sheet of music (constitution, founding principles) we once did.
Hopeless...it cannot work without the total state forcing it to work.
The fact is that somebody’s, or some collective group’s (society’s) worldview and cultural makeup stems from their respective, collective view on law, liberty (if that’s even an ingredient in the given culture and worldview in question), and most everything else. Germans in Germany are in essence collectively the same ethically, culturally, and with respect to their laws and customs. And the society itself will be run by the collective’s majority worldview. If our own collective societal worldview was today strictly based on the Constitution and the Founding principles aggregately, then great! That was the collective majority’s view of a young America in the distant past. If not, then we become an “auto-democracy” by default and the majority view will define the laws and the culture, irrespective of the Constitution or Christianity or….
It doesn’t matter how the collective’s view came to be what it is (deception from media marionettes, statists, et al), just that it is! Besides, people who were adequate to self-govern would discern deception from the media, statists, or others we tend to blame or scapegoat for our continued journey towards totalitarianism in the first place.
What is really painful about this particular example is that we still have a chance (an infinitesimal one, to be sure) to abort the creation of an American Reich before it comes to term, and the only alternative to outright servitude would be a gallant but doomed recourse to arms.
Forget it. As you clearly point out yet apparently think could actually happen at all, whether doomed or not, is what’s amusing. The society is collectively too steeped in dependency to ever rise up in arms against Leviathan in the first place. People cannot see or discern servitude, unless it's literal - they are literally shackled and bull-whipped. That's never going to happen. Europe's socialist statism is beyond ours and its folk do not think themselves living in servitude.
The point is that they acquiesce themselves to servitude! Is that not obvious by now, Will?
Who knows, if trends continue, perhaps job applicants will be required to provide a valid Social Security number as a prerequisite for employment!
But only if you're an American citizen. If you're an illegal immigrant, we don't need no stinkin' employment history and personal references -- just come on in and start working.
And don't worry about that W-2 form -- taxes are for pathetic citizen-chumps, not foreign royalty like you!
Thanks for exposing Tancredo as the one-issue politician he is. Aside from the immigration, he is just as bad as the rest of them -- other than Ron Paul, of course.
Good grief, I was only aware of Tancredo's vote for renewal of the Patriot Act -- and you didn't even bother to mention that one.
I'm not ready to say that it is impossible to have a secure border and yet maintain civil liberities.
If government is to have any role in human society, surely its most legitimate role is in maintaining secure borders.
The biggest problem is the determined cadre of elites who will co-opt any legitimate concern in order to advance their one-world agenda. If more good-hearted American's would be taught to recognize this reality, they would be more cautious on what solutions they support. Hence, the value of a conspiratorial worldview.
The deception involved in the immigration issue became extremely apparent to me during the House debate last October over the construction of a real physical fence on the Mexican border. While posturing for the public that they were finally going to build a real fence, our Congress critters quickly passed another law allowing the president to use the funds to build a "virtual fence" instead of a real fence if he wanted to.
Of course a virtual wall is much more compatible with the unimpeded movement of goods, services, AND people across the border. It can be shut down with a flip of a switch, and it can be integrated into a national or regional ID (such as created by the REAL ID act).
Our elites would rather have open borders and spy on everyone (while shredding the Bill of Rights), rather than to control the border and conduct focused investigation of potential crime.
But secure borders still doesn't address the millions of illegals already here. In light of the police-state implications of the solutions proposed thus far, I don't know what solution is best.
All constitutions are doomed to failure. It is inevitable. To cling to the illusion that what once was America, over two centuries ago, could or should be resurrected, in light of an incredibly ignorant polity, is the height of wishful thinking.
I'm constantly amazed at the "true believers" within what is the so-called "conservative" ranks. They'll trot out the Constitution from time to time like Lenins corpse, leaping and shouting maniacly about its glass coffin, waving in foam flecked fury the snakes of righteous indignation! Screeching...nay...commanding that it rise up and walk!
"DeMille, paging Mr. DeMille...."
Every day I'm becoming more aware of the information fussilade thats fired mercilessly at people day in and day out via radio, TV, schools... you name it. The deception is incredible and yet the deceived beg for more!
I don't say this out of defeatism because I have great faith in where I'm being led. One can certainly point out that the bridge is out, the train is going over the abyss and honestly not take any pleasure in the resulting death and destruction.
I heard or read something the other day about a Ron Paul/Tom Tancredo ticket. I didn't realize at the time how much of a police statist Mr. Tancredo is. Ron Paul probably would want nothing to do with him; nor would I, being that he voted to take away so many freedoms.
Thanks for the information!
Its nice to read you blog again. As a regular visitor to the JBS website, I used to look forward to reading your witty and insightful articles. When they suddenly ceased, I was rather disappointed.
Never the less, your blog has been found and continues to be enjoyed.
Keep up the good work
This is a tad off topic but reading all of this, and Wills use of the word Chekist, reminded me of a Russian film by that very name. In it you watch as someone brutally murders countless people in the name of the revolution (its extremely graphic and not one for the kiddies) that in the end it appears madness has taken him over and the same is dealt to him. Such lunacy seems to pervade the "live by the sword, die by the sword" mentality of our overlords.
Will, I share your concern about the police state being enacted in our country under the guise of safety and security. I have a sincere question though. How do you think we should handle the serious problem with illegal immigration? It has been my belief that we needed to stop the free handouts such as free education, free medical care and penalize the employers that hire them. I know we don't want a national ID card and being forced to present a SS card is not the answer, so how do we determine who are the illegal aliens? Also, from reading what you have written, I see your concern in beefing up border security. What I don't understand is what your solution is for stopping the invasion.
I have always valued your viewpoint, Will and would much appreciate your thoughts on this.
My mind sees virtually the scenario you imagine, DrFix. I really couldn't agree more with your 6:29 PM post.
There's so much deception among the ranks, not just saturating the blatantly ignorant class, as one would expect (yawn!), but also among otherwise level-headed traditionalist-minded folk, the constitutionalists, and the self-proclaimed Christian folk (sigh…). This is why I say America today is no doubt demonstrably a farrago of people who no longer sing the same song and no longer read from the same sheet of music. Whether it’s because of the mass of illegal aliens swarmin’ in continually forming a separate culture and society and not assimilating, or the homegrown society itself simply succumbing to the continual depravity and statist messages disseminated via the mass entertainment media culture, or a combination of the two, matters not at this point. The point is that it is the current reality in America.
How are such incompatible, divisive, and in some cases incendiary, ingredients supposed to mix together voluntarily to form a peaceful societal stew, calling itself a nation, in the cultural cauldron? LOL, the simple answer is it can’t! Why is this so difficult to grasp? The only feasible way to hold such a fiery D-I-V-E-R-S-E glob of humanity together in a pseudo-peaceful state is only by force applied by the state. Hence, that’s exactly why we’re witnessing the total state coming to fruition so quickly. The more multicultural and diverse the society becomes, the more forceful the state becomes as a consequence.
Dixie, I've noticed, and for quite a long time now, that when the civil "authorities" push more "laws" that inevitably people are forcibly pushed through the cracks and are then held up as examples of where the law "worked".
Thereafter they use these sad excuses as examples to further increase the number of laws and "enforcement" in order to tighten their grip and legitimize themselves. How else can they justify their very existence unless fresh devils du-jour are concocted, or seeminly discovered "under our noses".
Like a nation-sized python that coils itself around its victims, who with every attempt to breath and get some relief, finds the beast squeezing them ever tighter.
In order to distract the doomed from their impending destruction, ever more brazen and continuous "stimulation" of the entertainment centers of the collective brain are devised. People are being conditioned to accept the unacceptable.
God help us all.
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